Reprint from The Verge
Mercedes-Benz is known for being a pioneer in the world of automobiles, but until now, it hadn’t ventured into the world of two-wheeled electric scooters. That will change, though, as the company very quietly announced a two-wheeler at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show last week.
Stuffed inside a press release between news of Mercedes-Benz-branded over-the-ear headphones and a toy version of the company’s EQC electric SUV is a brief mention of the forthcoming e-scooter. Seriously, here’s every word Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler wrote about the new scooter:
E-scooters have only been allowed on German roads since June, and it is already hard to conceive of a traffic scene without them. These agile, electrically powered scooters are the perfect way to cover short distances quickly and without harming the environment. The new E-Scooter in the Mercedes-Benz EQ brand family was developed in cooperation with the scooter specialist micro, and is specifically designed for the first or last mile, making it the perfect companion for those wanting flexible mobility solutions. Co-branded with micro, the Mercedes star and the EQ logo appear on the handlebar stem as a trademark for Electric Intelligence.
Please Note: The market launch of the Mercedes-Benz E-Scooter is expected to be in early 2020.
That’s it! No word on range, top speed, or any other specs. It seems the company will sell them in Germany, but it’s not clear if it will try to crack other markets or how much it will charge. A spokesperson for Daimler confirmed that the automaker aims to sell the scooters directly to consumers, but it didn’t answer any further questions about specifics.
There’s not even a photo of the full scooter. All Daimler released were two photos of the base of the scooter with the Mercedes-Benz logo front and center. (That said, Mercedes-Benz admits its scooters are coming from a partnership with Swiss scooter maker Micro, and judging from its appearance, it wouldn’t surprise me if the specs line up with Micro’s Suspension or Merlin models.)
Spurred on by ambitious tech companies, electric scooters have seen a boom in popularity over the last few years. A number of cities have eagerly brought them in, too, either as a bandage to poor public transportation infrastructure or as a potential alternative to cars. This has naturally attracted the attention of automakers. Both BMW and Volkswagen are dipping into the scooter market, while Ford bought scooter company Spin outright.
I’ve no idea what kind of market exists for an electric scooter adorned with a Mercedes-Benz logo. But when these things undoubtedly show up in the F1 paddock where the company’s star racing driver Lewis Hamilton already employs an electric scooter, I’m sure Mercedes-Benz will find a way to sell them.